Monthly Archives: December 2011

Food blog: Chef Laudico’s Casa Filipino

Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition

Image via Wikipedia

Buffet? Eat-all-you-can? Most of us would think of Yakimix, Cabalen, Saisaki. But for the second to the last blow of eating before the year ends, I took my parents to Chef Laudico’s Casa Filipino at the corner of Scout Torralba and Scout Fernandez in Quezon City.

Most of us know Chef Laudico because of the show Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition which might have contributed to a boom in his business with his wife. Casa Filipino focuses on solid Filipino dishes we like!

Their menu is as easy as this:

They have 4 buffet stations: Salads, hot appetizers, mains, desserts. I am going to show you pics of those dishes that I like the most.

Their salad station, which has 4 sides, also has 4 different appetizers to choose from. I love the Filipino veggies with the bagoong dressing. They also have lumpiang sariwa, makis on one side and the ordinary salads on the other. The Filipino veggies are to die for.

I forgot to take pics of the hot apps table, but their sisig wrap, lumpia cones are really good. The only problem, maybe true to any buffet restaurants, is the serving temperatures. Of course, some are a bit cool already.

They have around 20-30 dishes in the mains to choose from. Let me start with this ordinary basil, tomato pasta. What I like about it is that, it’s not dry at all. All the chafing dishes have convection warmers beneath them that might have done the trick. The tomatoes are sweet. I enjoyed this pasta.

The pumpkin cream soup is also good. Full of pumpkin goodness without it being too pumpkin-y in a way. Very balanced.

The pakbet is so good I can eat it alone with rice.

I’ve seen this famous Angus beef kare-kare of theirs in other blogs. I could just say wow. The beef is so tender. The sauce is creamy with a subtle peanut taste. The bagoong they use is sweet which gives the kare-kare a different attitude.

A pig will always be the star of a show! And true it is! Their lechon liempo, freshly cooked straight out of the oven and ready to serve is so good, Cebu-style! As my grandfather would say it: never eat the balat without the steam!

Their dessert table consists of a chocolate tablea fountain, fruits, cupcakes, and other pastries. The chocolate is bitter-sweet. Just the way I like it.

Two of my favorites in the dessert station are the maja blanca (top) and the suman panacotta (bottom) which is famous because of its appearance in the Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition along with Chef Laudico’s wife as the guest chef. The suman panacotta consists of a layer of suman at the bottom and a layer of panacotta (tastes like maja blaca to me) at the top.

We really had a nice time in Casa Filipino. For the price, I would say you get value for your money. It’s the cheapest buffet restaurant that is this good I’ve known so far. This is the place where you should bring your balikbakayan relatives for them to have a taste of real Filipino food.

Happy new year everyone!

 

 

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Life thoughts: a Sendong Christmas

This might be one of the saddest Christmases in the Philippines as more than 900 Filipinos died and more are missing in CDO, Iligan and surrounding cities in Mindanao and Dumaguete as Typhoon Sendong showed us its wrath Friday midnight of last week.

It really breaks my heart to see images of death and grief in a time where joy and peace should abound.

This picture, popular all over Facebook, struck me as I was sitting in front of my laptop with my dad looking at the pics. He was brought into tears looking at this photo.

Kung mangyari yan sa isa sa inyo, sana mamatay nalang din ako. Ang sakit nyan.”

It’s easy for us to say that, yes, there is a reason behind this horrifying tragedy, but try telling them that. It’s going to be difficult for them to understand such a thing at the present, especially when you know that almost your whole family died, you have no more house to live in, and all other Filipinos around the country are celebrating, except you. That is much more difficult than how it sounds.

When Ondoy struck in 2009, our neighbors here in Marikina where one of the most devastated by the tragedy. After 2 years, I am proud to say that most of them got through hell on earth. I know of one family whom I see almost everyday in school who got through it. They’re safe, happy now, even though most of their belongings where washed away by the flood.

For the victims of Sendong, the most that we can do is donate. Tama na Christmas party. Maybe we can set aside some luxury this Christmas to give to those who are in dire need of water, clothes and food. I am proud to say that I did my part by donating to the Philippine Red Cross.

It is my first time to donate to the Red cross and it actually feels good to know that what you’ve worked for so hard will go a long way helping people who are hungry and have no houses to live in for Christmas.

If you’re reading this, I am urging you to donate to the Philippine Red Cross for the victims of Typhoon Sendong. It will go a long long way.

Donate here: http://www.redcross.org.ph/donate

 

And above all else, let us pray for those people who have loved ones who died in this horrifying tragedy. It will be a very different Christmas for them. God bless you!

 

Food blog: Gelatissimo

This is a very exciting gelato bar in Trinoma. Everyone I know who has been there only have the best words to say. I was intrigued myself.

The place is very nice. It’s located in the open area in the top floor of Trinoma, where Starbucks is. You won’t have a problem with seats that much. But if ever, you do, there are a lot of sitting places around the area outside.

Gelatissimo is so exciting inside. They have two main gelato ‘stations’:

The fruit ‘station’

and the very lovely and enticing chocolate ‘station’

We got ourselves tasting and testing different flavors. I loved the face that they also help us in choosing what we can have by helping us combine 2 flavors (maybe a marketing strategy to get us to buy more or not; whatever! still is hella good!). I also loved the fact that they actually encourage you to try and taste almost everything if possible.

 

I had the most extraordinary ice cream combination I’ve heard til now–Chili Chocolate & white chocolate. So lovely. The Choco chili is so interesting! You get the taste of rich chocolate, then after 3 seconds, the chili comes running after. This is the sort of flavor you need to pacify. That’s where the white choco comes in. My goodness! Such a lovely combination.

We also got the Veronese Chocolate & white chocolate combo which is, I think, more lovely than what I had. Veronese chocolate is made from what we know here as Ferrero chocolates. Sweet and rich and full of flavor. Not to mention the oozing serving that we had.

1 scoop for 110php is not bad! 2 for 160php is really not bad at all! This good? I’ll be back!

I seriously enjoyed Gelatissimo. I think I found my new dessert place.

Food blog: Bigoli

Ara and I went to Bigoli in Trinoma for lunch today. I wanted to try it since there are quite a number of people in the resto, I love Italian food, and…I wanted to give it a shot coz I’ve been seeing it every now and then in SM North.

For starters, we ordered this ‘platter’ of 6 onion rings, 2 mozzarella sticks, and 1 lonely Cheese-stuffed jalapeno with tomato dip. It’s 120php. A little pricey considering the serving size. But still, good! Especially the Jalapeno. I just wished the Jalapeno had some more spice to it. The mozzarella stick was fun to eat, with all the gooey cheese when chewed.

We also ordered this Chicken w/ Spaghetti al Pesto for 165php. It really looks good. Since Ara is a fan of pesto, she ordered this. But, I think, the same for all other dishes, the serving size is too small for me. But the chicken is good enough, savory and a little sweet. It’s dipped in a sauce after being fried, I guess. It’s not the crunchy type. The pesto pasta is like any other pesto pasta I’ve tasted. But don’t get me wrong, this one is good enough.

I ordered the Cream dory with Spaghetti Marinara for 145php. I loved the cream dory with the butter dip. The pasta tasted good. Although I just wished there was more (I could get much more pasta in another Italian resto for the same price). The Cream dory was crunchy, and soft inside. I liked it. Very subtle flavor in everything.

I loved the fact that the drinks were unlimited. I’m much of a drinker. The place was relaxing. Not much people in that side of Trinoma. I still enjoyed that meal though, even if I was not that satisfied with serving size. Bigoli!

Food blog: Manang’s Chicken

I’ve always been hearing Manang Chicken since all these fried chicken restaurants sprouted out this year, starting with Bon Chon and others. It’s just now that I’ve tried it, since I’ve been craving for crispy fried chicken this week because of watching too much TLC. hehe.

(oopss. didn’t see that the letters are almost coming off. hehe)

Ara and I tried the one in Katipunan, the one at the ground floor of One Burgundy, one of the popular condos along Katips. The facade is just small. BUT, shockingly, there were more employees than diners. Otherwise, the place was nice, relaxing.

(sorry. Didn’t take much pics. Concentrated more on eating. hehe)

They pride themselves in double deep fried chicken. They also add sesame seeds to add to the crunch. They also have special sauces (original, mild spicy, extra spicy) to add flavor to the uberly crunchy chicken, which I really love! The chicken can stand on its own. I mean, it’s actually somewhat a problem with the food. the chicken is not that savory or flavorful unlike KFC, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really good, on its own, even without rice. But, because the rice acts like a neutralizer of sorts, it strips down the chicken’s flavor to almost nothing. So the solution is, it eat just by itself or  eat the chicken with sides which we will do next time (the ricec can be upgraded to 1 of 3 different sides that they have). But otherwise, the chicken is worth dying for. I can eat 10 chicken wings from Manang’s!

The price is just right. For a 2 pc. chicken meal with a drink, it’s 154php. Not bad for great flavor. You add 10php to upgrade the rice to 1 of the sides (which I recommend). OR, munch on 3pc or 6pc chicken wings (which I might do next time).